Portions of the Great Commission have occupied my awareness over the years. I don’t recall if or when I memorized it, but it retains a strong hold on my heart. I don’t think of evangelism when God reminds me of this passage, although a lot of people do. Rather, God has impressed upon me the disciple–the one who becomes so familiar with the Triune God that he takes on family resemblance.
Initially I took this passage as a major impetus for evangelism, and it remained that way years after my entering the Kingdom of God. “Go” held chief importance to me. As God kept the conversation open, I heard, repeatedly and for several years, “I am with you, even unto the end of the age.” While I knew Jesus said that, this statement morphed into a conversation about how the Spirit interacts and leads me.
Most recently, by that I mean, the last six or seven years, God has drawn my attention to the phrase about baptism. I noticed “water” has no place in the passage, so what am I drenching people in, if not water? In what am I immersed? Then I noticed, “name” followed by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God seemed to whisper, “immersion” in Me, the Trinity. I thought about submersing a white t-shirt in red dye, putting it all in the red dye (baptizing). The t-shirt then takes on the color of red, loses its identification with white, and becomes characterized by “red” — no more white. It is a red t-shirt. A new identity describes it.
Making the disciple entails engulfing them in the community of the Trinity so that they take on the character and identity of God. I grow in familiarity with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in experience. Immersion in God and interaction with Him calls forth transformation through experiencing His kind of love, the kind of love that the Trinity expresses.
So much more comes to mind, but as I experience this blessing, this immersion in God, I realize I want to move forward into God’s desires and expressing them. Expressing His kind of love to others through me so the community of the Trinity expands to include them. As such, a family resemblance arises that God shapes in me through familiarity with the community of the One in Three.